The high school was one of four high schools operated by the Seattle Board of Education in 1907.

Share story

Lincoln High School opened in September 1907, the first Seattle high school built north of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

According to a Sept. 5, 1907, Seattle Daily Times article, the school was built to accommodate about 1,000 students.

It opened during a time when the Seattle Board of Education had 3,500 high-school students and three crowded high schools: Broadway, Franklin and Ballard. (That same year, residents of the city of Ballard voted to be annexed by Seattle.)

The proposed solution was to send all 400 students who lived on Queen Anne Hill to Lincoln High. The article said this of how the students would get there:

See more historical photos

“But here comes the extraordinary proposition of asking the Queen Anne pupils to ride to Pike Street — an average of fifty blocks — and then out the Green Lake car line fifty blocks more — making a transfer and a ride of one hundred blocks — requiring one hour’s time to make the single ride from home to school, even if there be no delay in the car service.”

In another 1907 article the Lincoln High boundary was defined as:

“From the Sound on Denny Way to Boren Avenue, Boren Avenue to Lake Union, Lake Union to Lake Washington, following the government canal. All pupils north of this line belong in the Lincoln district.”

After 74 years, the school was closed in 1981; in 1997 it started housing students from other schools whose buildings were being renovated.

Lincoln High’s days aren’t over, though. In 2013, voters approved a $700 million school-construction proposal, and the district plans to reopen Lincoln as a high school in 2019.